Gandhinagar: The Gujarat Congress has accused the union textile minister and member of Parliament Smriti Irani of misappropriation of the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLAD) funds allotted to her. The state Congress chief and Anklav MLA Amit Chavda alleged that there are financial irregularities by Irani in spending her funds under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna in Maghrol village of Anand district, her adopted village, in Gujarat.

In a series of tweets from his official Twitter handle, Chavda said, “Smriti Irani adopted Maghrol in Anand District to make it a ‘model village’ and she did a stupendous job of making it as a model for the corruption and blatant misuse of the power. She misappropriated fund received under her MPLAD scheme. Irani illegally used her MPLAD fund in violation of the guidelines for their use. Moreover, Irani and her staff insisted and coerced official into to awarding contracts to one Sharda Majoor Kamdar Sahkari Mandli.

He further said, “This also violated the norm that contracts worth more than Rs 50 lakh cannot be awarded to one group under the MPLAD scheme. This cooperative got work contracts worth many times above prescribed limit. During an inspection in the month of June 2017, it had also come to fore that work was not up to the mark. And also there was a discrepancy between the estimates and the actual cost. Also, Even though in many cases projects were never completed, but full money was paid to this shady cooperative and money kept flowing to them. I had filed PIL in Gujarat High Court in July 2017 and had bought this gross misappropriation of power and funds to the light.”

He also tweeted pictures of the district collector’s order demanding Sharda Majoor Kamdar Sahkari Mandli return the money paid to them with interest.

The Anand district collector has ordered the contractor to return Rs 2.95 crores with an annual interest of 18 percent to the government, which makes the total amount to Rs 4.8 crores. The Congress has demanded Smriti Irani to resign from her post as she doesn’t have the right to continue after this fraud has come to light.

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